"Ms Lawrence, do you have the next book in the Land of Stories series?!"
Sometimes, it can be a struggle to get my 5th graders to find a book they are excited to dive into.
Some students even just give up after the novelty and promise of a new school year dwindles, claiming there's nothing in my library (or in the library of other teachers) that interests them.
That's why I secretly love looking up during a lesson to find one of my students with their nose in a book. They are experiencing that magical place where they can-not-put-the book.-down!
What's even better? When my students are so excited about a book, they want to tell their classmates about it. Overheard in my classroom last year: "You HAVE to read this book. I can't believe the plot twist!" and "This book was so funny, I literally LOL'd!" and "Hey, did you get a chance to read this one yet? I just got done with it."
I love witnessing the true, unabridged excitement about stories that only children can adequately express. It's one of my favorite parts of being a teacher.
Students are not given as much time to read in the classroom as I would like. So, during the precious moments of time carved into our busy day that are set aside for reading, I want students to get the most from it. Every child deserves the opportunity to fall in love with books. In addition, every child deserves to be given the chance to make an informed choice about where they can most effectively and comfortably read and do their school work. Floor cushions, wobble seats, and floor chairs not only encourage students to explore the methods that help them reach their goals, they also minimize distractions, empower students to make responsible choices about their learning, and increase motivation and engagement.
When students have the power to decide what to read and where to sit while reading, magical things happen.
Not magical in the Harry Potter sense, but in the sense that fifth graders can transform themselves from resistant or reluctant learners into students that are eager to delve into a good book or complete a difficult assignment. I have noticed that when given the option to choose where and how they sit, students are more focused on the task at hand, are able to work for longer periods of time, and take increased ownership over their learning. This voice and choice gives every learner in the classroom the ability to find what works for them, and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student who "doesn't like to read" sitting in his favorite spot on the floor, unable to put his book down.
Giving students more books to choose from and these flexible seating options will have a significantly positive effect. These products will help my students grow and become more invested in being lifelong learners.
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